Candover, the UK-listed European buyout firm, has expanded its European team with the appointment of Cyrille Chevrillon as managing director at the firm’s Paris office.
Chevrillon will join the firm’s advisory board and will be responsible for generating large buyouts in France. He will head the firm’s French team, which currently comprises Jean-Michel Coulot, Cyril Zivré and Sebastien Canderlé.
Cyrille Chevrillon founded French private equity firm Chevrillon & Associates in 1992. Previously Chevrillon worked for Salomon Brothers as general manager of investment banking in France between 1986 and 1992. Prior to this he was finance director of Gaumont. Cyrille started his career in 1976 with JP Morgan Investment Banking.
Candover has worked with Cyrille Chevrillon on transactions for over five years, including a joint bid for French frozen food retailer Picard Surgelés from Carrefour, one of France's largest ever private equity deals. Chevrillon has had a personal relationship with Candover chairman Stephen Curran for over 16 years.
Chevrillon believes that the firm’s most promising opportunities will come from industrial businesses in France, although he says that the firm is not preoccupied with investing in mega buyouts. “We will always target the gain rather than the size in our investments,” said Chevrillon. “A lot of firms are looking at service industries at present, but we will be looking to invest in less popular heavy industry businesses.” Chevrillon believes that the firm will complete several deals in France in 2003.
Candover plans to invest around 50 per cent of its E2.7bn 2001 Fund in Continental European businesses, with France expected to provide a sizeable share of this investment. “Many of France’s largest conglomerates are under pressure from shareholders to streamline their operations.”
Over the last 14 months Candover has significantly strengthened its operations in Europe. The firm opened its Paris office in October 2001 and is currently setting up a Düssledorf office that will open in 2003. Kurt Kinzius, formerly head of M&A at Mannesmann, was appointed to head the German team in May, and in October Alejandro von der Pahlen joined the firm as an adviser to originate deals in Spain and Portugal.
Candover has already made a series of investments in Continental Europe, including the recent E1bn buyout of Ontex, the Belgium-based manufacturer of sanitary products.